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Movie Night with Corn Nation - Catch Me if You Can

Maybe Tom Osborne told Frank Solich to “Catch Me if You Can.”

2002 Nebraska Football Team

The 2002 Nebraska football team was a disaster of historical proportions. Everything was fine as our beloved Huskers cruised to a 3 – 0 record to start the season. Then came the trip to Beaver Stadium against Penn State. #7 Nebraska rolled into town expecting victory. They came away with a one-sided thrashing not in their favor as the Nittany Lions won 40 – 7.

Everyone was shocked at how poorly Nebraska played and how badly they were beaten. The following week I made the trip to Ames, Iowa with a couple of good friends. They tried to rile me up on the way, thinking that this was business as usual and that we were about to see an easy Nebraska victory. I told them otherwise, but they thought I was joking. I was not. The Cyclones won 36 – 14 and I tried to explain to them this wasn’t the Nebraska teams they were used to watching with me.

Losses would come against Oklahoma State, Texas, Kansas State, Colorado, and Ole Miss in the Independence bowl. Kansas State took out years of frustration crushing our beloved Huskers 49 – 13.

Jammal Lord was on that team. I really like Jammal Lord. DeJuan Groce and Richie Incognito earned first-team All-America honors. Fabian Washington earned second team All-America.

I worked with Winona State University in southeastern Minnesota at the time. Their football coach, Tom Sawyer (no lie), asked me what I thought would happen to Frank Solich. I asked him what he was talking about. He said, “They went 7 – 7. That doesn’t happen at Nebraska. Something has to happen.” That comment still sticks with me years later as a sign that he was more aware of our football program than I was.

We all know what happens next.

Nate M: Catch Me If You Can was slow and overrated. Leo has a bunch of hits and a few misses. This is a miss.

Jon: I met Frank Abagnale, Jr., the main subject of this movie several years ago at a network security event. It was sponsored by Novell, one of the pioneers in computer networking before Bill Gates and Microsoft crushed them out of existence. Abignale Jr. gave a talk about his life in the movie. He was very serious. He wasn’t boring, but there was not a single bit of humor in his entire presentation.

You might have thought he would have delivered a humorous anecdotes here and there, but the emphasis of his presentation was the time at which his parents decided to get a divorce. The moment he was asked to choose between his parents set his life on a path he would have otherwise not taken. He was emphatic that everyone needed to think of their children before taking such measures.

I have an autographed copy of the book Catch Me If You Can somewhere. I tried to joke with him while getting the autograph and he gave me a blank stare, signed the book, and handed it back to me without saying a word. He wasn’t rude about it. It was as if he were to say something that he would start giving away deep, dark secrets of the FBI.

I found the movie fascinating because of the subject matter. Being a con man; a pilot and/or a doctor when you were not. The ease with which you could commit bank fraud was astounding. The idea of putting your own account number on deposit slips, posing as a security guard and allowing people to handle you bags of money. It’s brilliant. It is true? Perhaps not, perhaps like Pat Garrett’s life, which I mentioned in the introduction of the Nebraska historical markers series, that this book and movie are flim-flam. Does it matter if it’s true? Or is it enough to be interesting?

Evan W: Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors. I’ve seen every movie he’s starred in in the past decade, and “Wolf of Wall Street” is by far my favorite. While this movie was slow at times I still enjoyed the plot. In my opinion, this had a lot of similarities to “Wolf of Wall Street.”

Both movies were about scams and how easy it was to manipulate a broken system. I found it incredibly fun to watch to see how this movie ended. I won’t give anything away in case anybody wants to watch it after reading this.

Sometimes it’s cool to watch these types of movies and think about how you would handle this situation. What would you do if you were in Abagnale’s position? These are questions most of us will never get to answer, but it’s fun to imagine. Does that make me a bad person? I hope not.

Next week we’ll be covering the 2003 Nebraska football season and watching a movie recommended by Rick, “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” Let us know your thoughts about “Catch Me if You Can,” down in the comments section.